Marcus Kantz

Retired Chemical Engineer
formerly U. S. Environmental Protection Agency
Elmira, New York, USA

In my art I try to combine straightforward math with visual interest and stimulation. I don’t believe a math construct on paper, no matter how rigorous and sophisticated, constitutes art unless it draws the viewer in. That is most likely to happen if two conditions are met. First, the image itself must draw the viewer’s attention, either by pure aesthetics (beauty, rhythm, etc.) or by inducing a feeling (warmth, humor, unavoidable eye movement, curiosity, involvement, etc.). Second, the math itself must be sufficiently accessible that the viewer feels a sense of understanding or attachment. I hope that my submittals this year satisfy these two conditions.

Amanda Keeps Us Balanced
425 x 600 cm
Ink on Paper
2017

The “math” in math art doesn’t have to be complicated, high powered and sophisticated in order for the “art” to be interesting, original, intriguing or emotional. This image contains just 3 equal area objects: a circle, an elongated rectangle, and an equilateral triangle, perfectly balanced, one atop the other. I chose this image from a series because, while it is visually uncomfortable and almost impossible, the math is sufficiently accessible that most curious viewers will be able to convince themselves that it “works” with a little hand measurement and such. Once the “ahah” arrives, I hope it leaves a sense of satisfaction, or even a smile. Oh, and Amanda is my physical therapist, and she does.

70 Lines Times 2
425 x 600 cm
Ink on Paper
2017

How better to celebrate my 70th birthday than with a 70-themed Bridges submission? To double the fun, this image contains 2 sets of connected polygons, each set comprised of 70 distinct lines: 7 pentagons with their included stars in one, and 5 heptagons with their stars in the other (your kids can do the math). In each set, the rule for connection starts with the smallest polygon with its embedded star and continues with a side of the second polygon coinciding exactly with one leg of the first star (thus longer than the side of the first polygon), with the second polygon pointing outward from it, and so forth. In my math art, I like straightforward rules that produce interesting visual results.